Wednesday, July 05, 2017


A fireworks mystery....

I hope that everyone had a great 4th of July!  For many of us, that included watching a fireworks show after dark, which is a great American tradition.

But, for me, there is a mystery in all of this.

Blowing off entertainment-grade explosives seems like it must be pretty dangerous work. I'm sure that it requires training and probably some kind of certification in many states. Yet, just about the only time there is work in this field is for a few hours on one day a year. So, are there really all that many people who are qualified to blow off these pyrotechnics, or is it a bunch of amateurs faking it?  

I would appreciate any insights you might have....

Not exactly just one day a year. Here in Louisville, for example, the really big super spectacular makes-your-eyes-bug-out fireworks show isn't on July 4th, although our Independence Day fireworks are pretty good. But to see FIREWORKS (all caps) come in April for the kick-off of the Kentucky Derby Festival. It's called Thunder Over Louisville and features an air show during the day and fireworks after dark. A company (I forget the name) that does fireworks shows nationwide is based here and they use Thunder Over Louisville to try out new pyrotechnics, designs, "stuff" that they then use at July 4th shows nationally. So that's at least 2 days a year we get fireworks. Maybe more, I can't really remember. And really, whether it's just one day a year or 2 or 20 or 200 - I do want trained people doing fireworks. Like the journalist Linda Ellerbee once said, "I never want to see my name included in a sentence that begins, 'Also among the dead were...'"

You should ask your acquaintance Pickles, she doesn’t just blow stuff up. She is gainfully employed as a “pyrotechnics engineer” for the Souza Pyromaniacs Family Co. (of Macy’s fireworks fame).
Don't forget New Year's fireworks!
One of my FB friends has a nephew who is a professional pyro-technician. He was in Seattle this week setting up their 4th of July display.

During baseball season in Durham, every Friday and Saturday evening they have a fireworks display. Draws big crowds to the ball park even when the team is having a losing season.
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